CFL Bulbs Is this costing me money

A few months back I asked about flickering low energy bulbs when they are switched off and I was pointed to this:
http://www.wiki.diyfaq.org.uk:80/index.php?title ÏL_Lamps Occasional flashing In exceptional cases a CFL will flash occasionally when switched off. This is due to wiring capacitance passing a tiny current, which gradually charges the CFL's reservoir capacitor, and after a while it attmpts to start, giving a momentary flicker.
2 conditions tend to cause this:
a.. an especially long switch wire run b.. supply switched on the neutral instead of live pole The question is, is the energy being consumed when the lights supposed to be off costing me money, ie is it clocking up on my electricity meter. If I am getting this for nothing fair enough but if I am paying for it what is the point of a low energy bulb that consumes energy when it is switched off. In my case it is a constant flicker on three lights that have an light sensitive security switch.
Kevin
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Better things to worry about surely - like saving the odd bit by a little less water in the kettle or using the vacuum less - or going faster with it. If you had conventional bulbs you would not have noticed the small current flowing through the filamane to power the security switch electronics.

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Already don't overfill the kettle, I leave the house dirty to save on power consumption.
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Zen83237 wrote on 20/02/2009 :

You will be paying for the running of the security switch, the flickering is a by product of this.
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Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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Would that be more or less power than the standby on a tv. Seems that there is another way of saving power here. I hadn't realised that the power to run a light sensitive switch would power up a CFL bulb.. I just wonder why the public can't be advised of this problem, if you can call it that. I assumed that it was a wiring fault.
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Zen83237 presented the following explanation :

Much, much less.

Well, it is not actually powering it up is it - it is just flashing occasionally. Look at it this way - an LED, constantly on and powered from a small battery, the battery might last a day. The same LED and battery designed to just flash and the battery would last for months.

The alternative could be lights left on and forgotten about.
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Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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The issue is not about the CFL Lamp - the issue is that you are needing to power an electronic device - the security switch. Do you expect it to run on fresh air? If you dig out the instructions it should tell you it consumes something - perhaps in the order of 0.2 of a watt. It gets its 'neutral' to complete its circuit through the electronics of the CFL - or the filament of a bulb. The bulb would get immeasurably warm as a result - the CFL will give an occasional flicker.
Before you get paranoid about your TV Standby - look at the spec. Modern sets are very low - mine is only 0.8 of a watt - not that it gets left on standby much.
Bigger fish to fry as they say.
(Why don't people reduce the timer setting on their PIR Lights for example)
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<snip>

Ha ! Joy ! At last someone who understands the eco bollox about standby modes, that is continuously thrust at us now ...
OTOH, has anyone looked at how much an LCD TV consumes when it's on, compared to a modern CRT set ? And plasmas, well ... The backlighting for a decent size LCD consumes over 100 watts on its own !
Arfa
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 01:14:34 -0000, Arfa Daily wrote:

The politicians that want TVs etc. not to have standby do not, yet again, understand this: if TVs had only On and Off, many people would just mute the sound for the odd half hour between shows - no standby at <1W would become left on at 100W.
I don't use standby much on the TV but the satellite box is always switched off if the interval is >15 min. as it's about 15W in 'standby'.
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Peter.
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It stems from old TV's. If you have a TV well over 10 years old, it will have a standby of something like 5W - 10W, and depending on how much you use it, you might find total standby consumption exceeds the actual viewing consumption. Many countries have had rules in place for many years now limiting standby power to < 1W, and given TV's are manufactured for use in many different countries, we all benefit from those rules in any new TV you buy today, even when we don't actually have such a rule.
We still have problems with items designed for use only in this (or only a few) countries, which are things like set top boxes. They often don't significantly reduce consumption in standby mode.
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Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

I can't see how total standby can exceed actual viewing consumption - this sounds even more like eco bollox!
The solution is to check the manuals - it is always stated.
http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/795944-XFu5mJ/native/795944.pdf
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writes:

I guess you mean total standby if used for 18 hours a day versus viewing for about 6 hours. Sorry I misunderstood you. (still seems unlikely though)
I guess most people switch off when going to bed ................ don't they?
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 13:44:11 +0000, John wrote:

No. Most people press the button on the remote. For everything.
Quite a few set top boxes etc. *require* to be left on standby, or they don't get their updates for the EPG or firmware. And of course in the case of Sky+ or V+ can't *upload* their viewing figures...
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wrote:

<Snip>
Simple,
Some STB's etc use about the same energy on standby as in operation
Actual hours TV watched may be 2-5 hours.
So standby hours = 19 - 22 hours (if maximised by the user).
Ergo standby consumption can far exceed useful consumption.
Derek
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On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 14:40:48 +0000, Derek Geldard wrote:

Same as a 'low energy' 'bulb' - leave it on for long enough and it's use more than a GLS that's on for the time needed.
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Peter.
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 13:28:20 -0000, John wrote:

Viewing say 4hrs in the evening @ 80W = 320Whrs. There are 20hrs left of the day in standby, if that standby power is >16W then the set will use more power in standby than it does for viewing.
As has already been pointed out modern kit has very low standby powers (<1W) but older stuff could well have >16W.
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Dave.




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On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 15:27:39 +0000 (GMT), Dave Liquorice wrote:

It will run at lower power but 'use' (waste) more energy; power is not used.

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Peter.
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writes:

I'm pretty sure that the likes of reputable companies like Pace and Panasonic and so on, don't go out of their way to ignore their moral - if not mandated in local law - responsibilities regarding energy useage, particularly in the case of this green-driven and very contentious issue of standby power.
In many cases - set top boxes in particular being a good example - standby mode is not just for the convenience of the lazy owner who can't get his lardy arse beyond reaching for the remote control. Rather, it is masking important 'housekeeping' issues such as maintaining the EPG, maintaining the software revision, keeping the phone line modem alive, keeping the LNBs powered for stability, and in the case of boxes with HDDs in them, retaining the ability to do live rewind and so on.
Also, almost all modern consumer electronics products such as TV sets, STBs, DVDs, DVDRs, HDDRs etc, all use switchmode power supplies, which often employ a burst standby mode which can give misleading readings as to standby power consumption, when it is measured on 'cheapo' consumer power meters. The thing is with switchers, once they are running, they tend to be pretty benign and reliable. Their big stress time is at cold startup, and is the time that most spontaneously fail. Often, when they do, the failure is so catastrophic as to render the power supply either uneconomic, or not safe to repair - if you could even obtain some of the exotic OEM devices employed in them (and no, typically, the manufacturers are of no help here). If this happens, and the unit becomes just so much scrap, then all of your green efforts will have been for nothing as the the unit will either find its way to landfill, or have to have all the energy that you have saved, spent on dismantling and recycling it.
This is where I have a problem with the way that green issues are being sold to the general public. The politicians in their fervour to push this on us, are only looking at one issue at a time, instead of employing joined-up thinking. "Standby power consumption is bad ! Switch off when not in use !" Well, not necessarily if you look at the bigger picture.
"CFLs are good and eco friendly ! Ban power gobbling incandescents !" Yes, CFLs consume less energy than incandescents when in use, but this is the *only* eco advantage that they have over traditional light bulbs. In all other eco issues, they come out worse ...
Arfa
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

It all adds up. From a list the other week ... TV: Toshiba 2500TB. 13.4W standby. 75W running. (12 year old). TV: Panasonic TX-1. 5.8W and 57W (25? years old). Video recorder: Panasonic. 8.1W and 16.5W (10 years old). DVD player. Tesco. (8 months old) 8.5W continuous Freeview box (Asda, 2 months old). 5.5W continuous Freeview box (Aldi, 'Tevion' 18 months old). 10.3W continuous. 20" 'V7' PC LCD monitor, 21W dim, 42.5W bright.
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 13:58:56 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@jjdesigns.fsnet.co.uk wrote:

And the 'pooter?
My PC+19" monitor is 80W on idle; just built a new system for a friend and it's the same wattage with a 22" screen. 12h a day is near enough 1kWh, 7 days a week, >300 days a year...
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Peter.
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